Police in Lancashire break up wedding reception with over 100 guests

Police broke up wedding receptions at the weekend after they were found to be breaching coronavirus restrictions.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 8:46 am

Officers in Blackburn found more than 100 guests attending a reception on Sunday evening, while in Greater Manchester a fixed penalty notice was issued to the organiser of a wedding with more than 50 guests and a marquee.

Both areas are subject to local restrictions to prevent people socialising with other households.

In a Facebook post, Blackburn and Darwen Police said officers engaged with those attending the wedding reception and the gathering was dispersed without further issue.

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Police in Lancashire break up wedding reception with over 100 guests

The post said: “This is a clear breach of both local and national restrictions that puts everyone attending at risk.”

The wedding in Whalley Range, Manchester, was one of 54 reported coronavirus breaches between 3pm and 11pm on Sunday in Greater Manchester, police said.

Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Pilling said “Following large gatherings on both Friday and Saturday night, we have had to attend further events yesterday evening.

“We’ve been really open with the public about the pressure these calls place on already stretched and limited resources and I really need people to understand what is at stake here.

“Can you imagine a vulnerable loved one not being able to get through to 999 when in an emergency, because our phone lines are tied up with people reporting illegal parties? It’s this serious.

“I feel we’ve been really fair with the public, engaging and explaining with them and only enforcing as a last resort.

“However, these blatant breaches continue and we owe it to our communities to thoroughly investigate these types of reports and prosecute those involved. We will continue to enforce when there is a blatant disregard for the rules.

“We understand that the vast majority of people across Greater Manchester are doing the right thing and it’s incredibly disappointing that these people are being continuously let down by a small majority, who are selfishly flouting the very guidance that is there to keep us safe. I want to thank those who are doing their bit.”